Aug 19, 2015 01:25 AM EDT
A new research claims that it has found definitive evidence to prove that playing violent video games can lead to aggressive behaviors. The comprehensive study analyzed data of multiple previous studies on the link between violent video games and aggression.
Players were tested over a variety of timeframes and in a variety of ways. The studies varied from short term to the longer term. The conclusion of the research team is that it can be proved indeed that violent video game use has an effect on aggression.
The report concludes that the research clearly demonstrates a consistent link between violent video game use and an increase in aggressive behavior, aggressive affect, and aggressive cognitions. It was also found that playing violent aggressive games decreases empathy, pro-social behavior, and sensitivity to aggression.
Pro-gaming groups have contested the findings, stating that the psychologists who carried out the research were selective in the studies deemed relevant and that they are known 'anti-gamers'. The gaming industry also disagrees with the report.
The manager of the gaming arcade in Acton, North West London, Mark Starkey, declared that this study is nothing else than just history repeating itself. According to him, it is true that video games have become more violent and more realistic over time and that heightened level of realism may affect people in society. But this is by no means more dangerous than violent films. The video games and the movies also share similar rating systems that prevent consumers of content they might not want to be exposed of.
The review of the new research also indicated that there is 'insufficient evidence' about a link between criminal violence and playing violent video games. APA admits that this is a controversial topic and more research is needed, especially on the topic how children might be affected by playing violent video games. However, in past years atrocities like the Aurora Cinema shooting and the Sandy Hook massacre have been linked to violent gaming.
In an interview for Sky News, British psychologist Dr. Jane McCartney declared that this newly released study is a well-researched report, but much more research needs to be done especially on the effects of violent video games on overstimulating young people. According to her, video games can have such an effect easier on young people because their brains aren't quite fully developed and would be quite harder for them to switch off and come back to reality.
The APA report also 'strongly encourages' the American game rating organization to update the rating system on video games to better reflect the types and levels of violence in them.
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